Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march

Blue Bell is beginning a trial run of ice cream production at its Sylacauga plant after a national recall due to a series of listeria illnesses.

Alabama Health Officer Don Williamson said yesterday that Blue Bell notified his department that it will begin a trial run of production later this month. The ice cream will not be sold to consumers. Williamson says both state health officials and Blue Bell will test the product for listeria.

A state lawmaker wants to make sure that faith-based adoption agencies have the right to refuse to place children with same-sex couples.

Republican Sen. Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa introduced the bill last week specifying groups that could refuse to participate in adoptions and foster care placements that violate their religious beliefs.

The bill would also prohibit the state of Alabama from refusing to license, or renew a contract with, the groups for refusing services to people on religious grounds.

State prosecutors say indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard is once again manufacturing investigation leaks to distract the public from his criminal wrongdoing.

Yesterday, prosecutors asked a judge to reject Hubbard's motion to dismiss their indictment. Hubbard claimed there were violations of the grand jury secrecy act and other problems with the investigation against him.

State prosecutors said Hubbard's claims are baseless, and a “bogus narrative”.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is asking U.S. District Judge Callie Granade to keep gay marriage in the state on hold.

Strange filed a motion yesterday asking Granade to delay any more gay marriage decisions until the U.S. Supreme Court rules later this year.

The City of Selma remembered the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” over the weekend. But today marks another milestone in the civil rights movement.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in 1965. Today marks 50 years since the second march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge called Turnaround Tuesday. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led that protest himself, but turned back before state troopers could attack like they did just two days prior.

Selma city councilman Benny Lee Tucker was a teenager in 1965. He says he had a specific job during King’s march…

Mohammed Fairouz
Samantha West

This weekend, tens of thousands of people will make their way Selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

This means a lot a work for city workers to prepare for the crowds. James Benderson is the director of city planning and development for Selma. He says they have a lot of help.

“We have state police agencies, a lot of the local police municipalities within the area will be helping out. We have the national parks service helping out, so it’s a collaborative effort between a lot of different agencies making it work out for everybody.”

The city of Selma is preparing to remember the fiftieth anniversary of the attack known as "Bloody Sunday".

Today also marks fifty years since the funeral of civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson. His death at the hands of an Alabama State Police Trooper is considered one of the reasons Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Selma to help organize the voting rights marches.

Vera Jenkins Booker was the nurse that tended to Jackson when he was brought in to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma.

Governor Robert Bentley will deliver his state of the state address tomorrow.

The big issue is will likely be a half billion dollar tax hike. Bentley announced his plan on Friday and his annual speech will be his first big opportunity to sell it to what may be a skeptical Republican majority in the state house and senate.

Four hundred million dollars of the proposed tax hike would come from raising taxes on cigarettes and new car purchases. A pack of cigarettes would go up by eighty two cents. Buying a new car would be taxed by two to four percent.

The world is getting ready to remember the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma early next month. But another bit of Selma history is being remembered now.

100 years before the voting rights march and Bloody Sunday, the Battle of Selma took place during the Civil War. A historic marker was just unveiled at the corner of Highland and Summerfield Road.

In April of 1965, Union general James H. Wilson defeated the troops under Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. Wilson’s biographer, Edward Longacre, says Wilson was only 27 at the time.

Alabama is still buzzing over the news that Birmingham will be the host city for the 2021 World games. The first task in preparing to host the games will be to watch how Poland does it.

Wroclaw, Poland will be hosting the 2017 games and Alabama be taking notes on how that city handles it. Over four thousand athletes from one hundred countries usually take part.

It’s tax season and university students across the state are rolling up their sleeves to help taxpayers manage all the paperwork.

The group Impact Alabama has opened help centers to assist families with children who earn fifty two thousand dollars a year or less. Families without children to make less than twenty thousand dollars also qualify for assistance.

Sarah Louise Smith is the Executive Director of Impact Alabama. She says families get tax tips and the student volunteers gain experience working with customers.

The National Park Service has chosen Alabama State University in Montgomery as the location for the third and final interpretative center along the Selma-to-Montgomery National Voting Rights Trail.

The park service and university President Gwendolyn Boyd signed a memorandum of understanding Monday. The signing comes one year before Alabama plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1965 march.

Several sites in the capital city competed for the interpretative center, but officials said community support and resources clinched it for ASU.

State officials have awarded Alabama State University with $800,000 in grant funding for the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights Interpretive Center.

The funding will be added to an existing grant of $1.2 million.

Director of Alabama State University's National Center for the study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture says the center will be located near Hornet Stadium on the university's campus.

Organizers say they hope to open the center in time for the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March in March 2015.

Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser

About 200 people carried signs and sang spiritual songs at a rally at the Alabama Capitol marking the end of a re-enactment of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.

The protesters chanted old civil rights slogans, but also protested current issues. Many of the demonstrators carried signs protesting an education accountability bill that Republican lawmakers recently pushed through the Legislature.

Dave Martin

A group re-enacting the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march is scheduled to complete the journey at the state Capitol.

The group began its walk Monday. They are supposed to complete the last leg from west Montgomery to the downtown Capitol about 11 a.m. Friday. They will stand where Martin Luther King Jr. addressed thousands of marchers in 1965.

Events surrounding the 48th anniversary of the march began last weekend with the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma. Vice President Joe Biden and more than 20 U.S senators and representatives attended the events in Selma.